Taj Mahal Salad

By • June 17, 2011 14 Comments

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Author Notes: This recipe came from a friend back in the 1980's when curried chicken salad was popular and "trendy". I remember teaching both my mother and grandmother how to make it and we ate it all summer long.

Recently, I watched Ina Garten update her version with mango chutney and decided to re-vamp mine. I make my own mango chutney every summer and the recipe is on this site under "Mama's Mango Chutney". I'm down to one jar before I need to buy mangoes for a new batch of chutney.

Despite the corny name, this is great to take on picnics. I cook my rice in homemade chicken stock and poach the chicken in water and Meyer lemon juice. One cup of raw rice yields four cups of cooked rice. - Lizthechef

Food52 Review: Lizthechef's chicken salad is packed with flavor and really lives up to its name. The spices and chutney provide a nice background flavor, with bursts of crunch and sweet from the celery and grapes. The scallion and lemon add a layer of brightness. I used brown basmati rice, and cooked 1 cup which yielded slightly more than 2 cups of rice. I ended up with approximately equal portions of rice and chicken, it was a good balance. To account for using less rice, I scaled back on the other ingredients by about 1/3. A half cup mayo was all I felt it needed and so I'd recommend starting with less mayo than the recipe calls for and adding more to taste. We ate some of the salad on top of salad greens with the cashews sprinkled on top, and some between split and toasted focaccia bread with the cashews mixed in. Either way is great -- this chicken salad definitely deserves a place in your next picnic basket! - hardlikearmourhardlikearmour

Serves 4

  • 4 cups cooked brown or white basmati rice, cooled
  • 2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups canola oil-based mayo
  • zest and juice of one Meyer lemon or any organic lemon
  • 3 tablespoons mild curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 cup mango chutney
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 cup seedless green grapes, cut into halves
  • 4 scallions, chopped, white and light green portions
  • 1/2 cup whole cashews, toasted
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper
  1. In a small skillet, toast the cashews and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cooked rice with mayo, lemon zest and lemon juice.
  3. Shred the chicken into pieces and add to rice mixture.
  4. Stir in the curry, cumin and chutney. Mix well. Add the celery, grapes and scallions.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste. Chill salad for at least 4 hours. Check seasoning. Chop cashews.
  6. Serve salad on top of fresh greens. Top each portion with some chopped cashews.

More Great Recipes: Chicken|Appetizers|Salads|Side Dishes|Chicken Breasts

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Comments (14) Questions (0)


about 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

This looks like a perfect salad whether on a picnic or not! Love it! And welcome back home - glad to see you and your recipes back.


about 4 years ago Lizthechef

Thanks, CS!!


about 4 years ago pauljoseph

Excellent recipe I would like to share this Taj Mahal (must see places before you die) picture I took recently


about 4 years ago Lizthechef

Lovely photo - thank you!


about 4 years ago wssmom

I love rice salad! This one reaches new heights!


about 4 years ago Lizthechef

Thanks - I hope you try it and enjoy!


about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Lovely! This is a great idea for a picnic!


about 4 years ago Lizthechef

Thanks - but I am hooked on your violet cocktail! Maybe we can pull a picnic together between us!


about 4 years ago Burnt Offerings

Your timing is uncanny. Today is the 380th anniversary of the death of Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth to her 14th child, which prompted her husband, the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, to build the Taj Mahal as a symbol of eternal love in her honor.


about 4 years ago Lizthechef

I had no idea - what an amazing coincidence!


about 4 years ago dymnyno

Liz, Beautiful photo. Chicken curry salad is still one of my favorite salads or sandwiches.


about 4 years ago Lizthechef

Thanks, Mare, it was my first blog post...


about 4 years ago MyCommunalTable

Yummy. It sounds perfect for a picnic. I actually wish I had some right now. Cool, tangy, and the crunch from the lettece and nuts. Gosh, I am really making myself hungery. I have to quit reading your recipes.


about 4 years ago Lizthechef

Oh, never do that ;)